They make such delightful colorful decor anywhere in your home. If you have seen these fun statues out and about, here are 5 things you should know about Foo dogs. Because to know them is to love them.
Here are your 5 things to know:
Foo dogs are actually lions. They originated in China, shi, meaning lion or shishi or stone lion. Yet they resemble the Chow Chow and Shih Tzu which led them to be called foo dogs (or fu dogs) in English.
Foo dogs were originally displayed outdoors. These Chinese guardian lions were found standing sentry in front of palaces, temples, and homes of the elite. They could be quite massive and imposing with their wide open mouths in midroar. It was much later that smaller more portable ones were produced.
Meant to be in pairs. Foo dogs are symbolic, protective statues – one is female and one is male. The female represents yin and symbolically protects the people dwelling in the home, while the male represents yang, protects the structure itself.
Each detail of the is symbolic. You can tell their gender by examining what’s beneath the paws. The male holds a ball, the female holds a puppy. The ball represents the world and the puppy represents nature or a nurturing spirit. If it has an open mouth and the other has closed one, this may represent the in-and-out breath, or the sound of “om.”
There is a right way and a wrong way to position the pair. When you’re facing a pair of foo dogs, the most auspicious placement according to feng shui is with the female on the left and the male on the right. And if you have a pair displaying them together rather than in different rooms is the way to go.
Oh and Foo dogs are not to be confused with Staffordshire dogs.
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